Chinese consumption market widens with more sophisticated taste
By Wang Yue

China's consumption market is expanding and upgrading, while its consumers are becoming more and more sophisticated, according to Professor John Gong from the University of International Business and Economics.

The latest data from the Chinese Commerce Ministry shows that nationwide sales of all retail and catering businesses topped 1.01 trillion yuan (around 150 billion U.S. dollars) during the week-long Spring Festival holiday.

"We are witnessing a continuous expansion of the Chinese consumer market. And the consumption pattern itself shows Chinese consumers' more sophisticated taste," Gong said.

Spending more on cultural goods - a noticeable trend

An upward trend has also been observed in spendings on cultural products such as tourism and movies, according to Gong.

The latest official data indicated that China's revenue from domestic tourism hit 514 billion yuan (76 billion U.S. dollars) during the week-long holiday, an annual increase of 8.2 percent. More than 400 million trips were made, including about seven million outside China. That's an increase of almost 16 percent from last year.

"Spending on cultural goods and travel is becoming a larger part of people's expenditure," Gong said, adding "We are seeing that travel during the holiday season is skyrocketing. The sales of movie tickets have been marvelous. These days taking the family out of the country is not that expensive. The expenditures on tourism, travel, even dining out are growing very fast." 

Professor John Gong from the University of International Business and Economics. /CGTN Photo

Professor John Gong from the University of International Business and Economics. /CGTN Photo

The further tilt toward online shopping - an unstoppable trend

Online shopping is also a significant pattern, from Gong's perspective.

"Money spent on Internet shopping portals like Alibaba and are skyrocketing. These stores are not closing the doors even during the holiday season. These businesses are expanding very rapidly," he claimed.

Gong remains positive on the domestic retail market and believes that the consumption trend will keep tilting toward Internet shopping.

"This is an unstoppable trend. In China, we have very well developed infrastructure for conducting online retail purchases, with respect to the payment system, express delivery, and consumer credit," he explained.

"Overall, I think the total retail purchases conducted online is probably around 20 percent of the total retail market in China. And we had a very good last year – about 30 to 40 percent of growth compared to 2017. And I think we are still going to have a two-digit growth in 2019," Gong predicted.